Criminal Justice News

Friday, August 31, 2012

District Man Pleads Guilty to Bank Robbery Charge



DNA Linked Him to Clothing Left at Scene

WASHINGTON—Tony Wilkerson, 40, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to a bank robbery charge stemming from a 2008 hold-up in Northwest Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr.; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

Wilkerson pled guilty before the Honorable Judge Ellen S. Huvelle in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He is to be sentenced November 8, 2012. The charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison.

According to the government’s evidence, on November 17, 2008, at approximately 10:40 a.m., Wilkerson entered an M&T Bank in the 6400 block of Georgia Avenue NW. Wilkerson was wearing a grey sweatshirt with stripes and a blue baseball cap. While inside the bank, he walked to the teller’s counter and presented a note demanding money.

The teller complied and provided him with $5,000. Wilkerson took the cash and fled the bank, but he left the demand note behind. The bank’s security guard, who had been patrolling the area around the bank at the time of the robbery, soon learned what had happened and began following Wilkerson. The guard lost sight of Wilkerson but found in a nearby yard a grey sweatshirt with stripes and a blue baseball hat consistent with the clothing that the robber wore.

These items were collected by law enforcement and sent to the FBI for analysis. Tests identified DNA found on the clothing as belonging to Wilkerson, whose DNA was in the criminal justice system because of a prior conviction. The FBI also matched Wilkerson’s fingerprints to the demand note and a toy recovered with the robbery clothing.

Wilkerson was arrested in May 2012 in North Carolina.

In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director McJunkin, and Chief Lanier commended the exceptional investigative work of the FBI/MPD Violent Crimes Task Force. They also thanked those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Carolyn Carter-McKinley; Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine K. Connelly, who investigated and secured the indictment in this case; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Lewis and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brittan Heller, who are prosecuting this matter.

Keith Partridge Arrested for Distribution of Child Pornography



The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Keith Partridge, 27, of Weathersfield, Vermont, was arrested yesterday on a charge of distribution of child pornography. Yesterday, Partridge had an initial appearance on a criminal complaint charging him with committing that offense in December 2011 and January 2012. At the hearing, the Hon. John M. Conroy, United States Magistrate Judge, released Partridge on conditions, including that he 1) submit to home detention and radio frequency monitoring; 2) refrain from unsupervised contact with children; and 3) submit to monitoring of his computer use.

Court records indicate that Partridge swapped child pornography online with individuals whom he met in an Internet chat room. Records further indicate that Partridge used a female alias while trading online. Partridge was arrested following the execution of a search warrant at his Weathersfield home on August 28, 2012.

The complaint charging Partridge with distribution of child pornography is an accusation only; he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted of this charge, he faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years’ imprisonment and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. He could also be fined up to $250,000. The actual sentence, in the event of conviction, will be determined by the court with reference to the advisory Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The investigation was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Christina Nolan is handling the prosecution. Partridge is represented by the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Burlington.

Zakory Ian Boroszuk Sentenced in U.S. District Court



The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on August 29, 2012, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, Zakory Ian Boroszuk, a 23-year-old resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. Boroszuk was sentenced to a term of:

■Prison: 97 months
■Special assessment: $100
■Forfeiture: computer equipment
■Supervised release: seven years

Boroszuk was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to receipt of child pornography.

In an offer of proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

Law enforcement officers were investigating allegations of child pornography access by users utilizing the peer-to-peer file sharing network. One investigation involved a person in Billings who had child pornography available to share via a file sharing program. A search warrant was obtained for the residence and served on January 25, 2011.

Boroszuk was one of the occupants of the residence. When questioned, Boroszuk admitted that he used the peer-to-peer file sharing program Limewire to receive and possess hundreds of child pornography videos and images. He detailed the search terms he used to find child pornography on Limewire, how he saved it to various computers and other equipment, and how he had been doing so since the age of 13.

Agents seized various computer equipment at Boroszuk’s residence. A forensic examination revealed hundreds of images and movies of child pornography that Boroszuk had received via the Internet for years and continuing until the equipment was seized. Boroszuk possessed images and movies of children clearly prepubescent and children engaged in sadistic or masochistic abuse or other depictions of violence. Boroszuk possessed a total of 444 images and 177 videos of child pornography on his equipment.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that Boroszuk will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Boroszuk does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for “good behavior.” However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Billings Police Department, and the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

Hartford Man Sentenced to 57 Months in Federal Prison for Illegal Ammunition Possession



The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut announced that Jaquan Leggett, also known as “Tipsy,” 24, of Hartford, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to 57 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for illegally possessing ammunition.

This matter stems from Operation Northern Strike, a 15-month joint law enforcement investigation targeting members and associates of geographically-based street gangs engaging in criminal activity in Hartford’s Upper Albany and Northeast neighborhoods. The investigation included the use of court-authorized wiretaps on multiple telephones, controlled purchases of narcotics, and physical surveillance. As a result of the investigation, 35 individuals were charged with various federal drug and firearms violations.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Leggett was intercepted multiple times over a wiretap discussing his and other individuals’ possession of firearms. On July 28, 2010, Hartford Police received information that Leggett and a co-defendant were in possession of firearms at 155-157 Adams Street, where they resided. Investigators then stopped a motor vehicle being driven by Leggett in the vicinity of 155-157 Adams Street. Leggett was instructed to exit the vehicle. During a search of Leggett’s person, investigators found a .38 caliber bullet in Leggett’s pants pocket. A subsequent search of 155-157 Adams Street resulted in the seizure of nine firearms and assorted ammunition from the basement.

Prior to July 2010, Leggett had sustained at least two felony convictions. It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.

On September 8, 2011, Leggett pleaded guilty to one count of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.

This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Gang Task Force—which includes representatives of the FBI, Connecticut State Police, and Hartford Police Department—and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Brian P. Leaming and Geoffrey M. Stone.

Two Former Lincoln County Officials Sentenced to Federal Prison on Election Fraud Charges



Former County Clerk Gets Longest Election Fraud Sentence in Recent Years in Southern West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV—Two former Lincoln County officials were sentenced to federal prison on felony charges in connection with a 2010 primary election fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin. Former Lincoln County Sheriff Jerry Bowman, 58, was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison, three years of supervised release, and a $5,000 fine. Bowman previously pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy against rights in connection with the election fraud plot. Bowman’s co-conspirator and former Lincoln County Clerk Donald C. Whitten, 62, was sentenced to one year and six months in prison and three years of supervised release and a $5,000 fine. Whitten’s sentence is the longest in recent memory in an election fraud case in the Southern District of West Virginia. Whitten also pleaded guilty in March to making a false statement in connection with the fraud scheme.

“A citizen’s right to vote is the foundation of our democracy,” said U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin. “A stolen election shakes the public’s faith in government itself. It’s disgraceful for anyone to rig an election and even worse when the criminal is a public official.”

“I won’t tolerate election fraud in southern West Virginia,” Goodwin continued. “My office will relentlessly pursue anyone who tries to manipulate the vote.”

“I appreciate Judge Johnston’s strong stance on the importance of clean elections in this state and everywhere, and I’m pleased with today’s sentences,” Goodwin said.

Bowman admitted that during the conspiracy, he falsified more than 100 absentee ballot applications for voters who did not have any legal basis to vote absentee. After the false applications were processed, Bowman then returned to many of those voters’ homes and was in the room with them while they voted, telling them which candidates he backed. Bowman further admitted that in at least six cases, he himself marked voters’ absentee ballots.

Bowman also admitted that on several occasions, he witnessed a known associate complete absentee ballot applications for voters who had no apparent reason to vote absentee legally. Bowman admitted that during the scheme, he hand-delivered numerous false absentee ballot applications to the Lincoln County Clerk, which he had completed. In addition, Bowman also admitted that he witnessed a known associate hand-deliver numerous absentee ballot applications to the Lincoln County Clerk, which the known individual had illegally completed.

Whitten admitted that on December 7, 2011, he lied to an investigator about his role in the election fraud conspiracy. Whitten further admitted that he told an investigator that he had never provided absentee ballots to a known associate so that the associate could subsequently hand-deliver those ballots to voters. Whitten also admitted that at the time he made the statement, he knew that it was false.

Bowman and Whitten have resigned their formerly held county offices as required by their plea agreements.

Earlier this month, former Lincoln County Commissioner Thomas Ramey, Jr., 32, of Lincoln County, West Virginia, pleaded guilty to making a false statement to an FBI agent in connection to his role in the Lincoln County absentee voting fraud scheme.

Ramey faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on November 15, 2012, by United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston. Like Bowman and Whitten, Ramey has resigned his formerly held county office as required by his plea agreement.

The investigation was conducted by investigator Jim Wise of the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Counsel to the United States Attorney Steven Ruby and Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Ryan handled the prosecution.